Stanislaus County is facing steeper costs for upgrades to the intersection of Crows Landing Road and West Main Street, west of Turlock.
To alleviate concerns of nearby business owners, county public works officials have tried to design the improvements with minimal impacts to businesses, including the Farmers’ Den diner and Mountain View Feed & Seed Co.
The county learned recently that it needs to move several utility poles. That’s expected to increase the engineering costs by $73,623 and could delay the start of construction until 2015, depending on negotiations for additional right of way.
Under a consent item today, county supervisors could approve an amended contract with NorthStar Engineering Group of Modesto, pushing the total contract for design services to $379,100.
Several utility poles owned by the Turlock Irrigation District and AT&T need to be moved to meet safety standards that prohibit obstructions within 10 feet of the roadway. A county staff report says moving the poles will improve safety for the driving public.
Originally estimated at $2.5 million, the intersection project will replace a four-way stop where two busy transportation corridors meet. Crows Landing Road is a southern gateway for Modesto, and West Main Street is a connector between Turlock and Patterson.
The project to install traffic signals and turning lanes will prevent future congestion in the two corridors and make things safer at the crossroads, county Public Works Director Matt Machado said.
Business owners complained more than a year ago that the improvements would drive away customers. The Farmers’ Den, at the northeast corner, will lose parking spaces, and a traffic divider planned on Crows Landing will make it hard for customers to access the truck scales at Mountain View Feed & Seed.
Machado said parking spaces for the diner will be provided on the opposite side of Crows Landing. The county is working with the feed store to relocate the truck scales on adjacent property to the north.
“Hopefully, we are on the same page,” Machado said.
Phil Wagner, co-owner of Mountain View Feed & Seed, said Monday that the county has been cooperative. “There have been quite a few plan changes. The majority of it seems to be OK. It will be affecting the diner the most,” Wagner said.
Bee staff writer Ken Carlson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (209) 578-2321.